ANZASW’s constitution requires all competent (i.e Full) members to be provided protection by the Association’s member indemnity policy, but this has been extended to all other membership categories. The current insurance policy (and premium etc) is arranged/agreed pursuant to this. The benefits to members of having their own insurance protection, even for employed members whose employer has an indemnity policy, include:
- Greater certainty of protection. Comment: the employer may or may not have complied with the conditions of their own policy – it may in fact not be renewed.
- The ability to mount one’s own defence independent from the employer. Comment: Often enough in the event of a claim the interests of the employer and employee may be somewhat disparate.
- Availability of one’s own limit of indemnity. Comment: the employer’s insurance may be exhausted in defending itself.
- Additional unique benefits – such as the cover for ethics hearings, daily allowance for court appearance, the free legal service.
Comment: these would not normally be included in an employer’s policy.
As well as the core policy cover the additional benefits available through the ANZASW scheme represent real value to members, not the least of which is the independence it affords them in the event of a problem arising. Their employers, on the other hand, may not see this independence in the same light as it reduces the employer’s control over the employee at a time when the employee might otherwise be particularly vulnerable and dependent on the employer. In fact the primary driving force behind the establishment of ANZASW’s cover was a situation where two employee social workers were denied access to the employer’s indemnity policy and had to face a claim over their professional competence unprotected by insurance.
Please do not hesitate to communicate with the Association’s Insurance Brokers if you require any further information on the insurance policy.